|Earl, me, Betty, Barbara, Galen|
Galen Pearl and Barbara and Earl Torris have been absolute delights. We are talking, laughing, and sharing as if we had known each other for years. Betty and I have fallen in love with Portland, not just for the delightfully cool weather, but the eclectic neighborhoods, the flowers, the amazing public parks and enough restaurants to keep us trying a different one each night for the rest of our life.
Galen is every bit as fun and charming, intelligent and inspiring as she seems to be in her blog. She has shown us The Lan Su Chinese gardens, The International Rose gardens and the Japanese Gardens. She introduced us to one of the most interesting dining establishments we have ever been to: The Kennedy School. Her love of Portland is infectious and she seems tickled that we are liking as much as she. She treated the group to a first class dinner at Salty's, a tremendous restaurant overlooking the Columbia River.
Barbara Torris has boundless energy and enthusiasm and is an amazing conversationalist. She makes you feel instantly comfortable. As natives of Oregon, both she and husband Earl know all the background of the area. Earl is a walking history book and our designated driver. They took Betty and me to wineries and an olive oil mill south of Portland where we sampled wine, cheese, and fruit on a patio overlooking fields of lavender. We, along with Galen, enjoyed a tremendous Salmon BBQ dinner at their home. Since Barbara and Earl live in Tucson for half of the year, we expect to make the 90 minute drive to their home several times when they return to the desert to keep the friendship alive.
I am so happy I took the step to turn this on-line friendship into a real one. We have found people who we truly enjoy spending time with. Yes, we share blogging as a common interest, but this trip showed we share so much more than that. Making good friends is never easy, but even more difficult as we age. Maybe it is because we become too set in our ways or aren't willing to put in the effort required. From this experience I can tell you all that doesn't need to be true. The world is full of delightful people just waiting to welcome you into their life. Galen, Barbara, and Earl are proof.
In a few days we are off to spend three days with Bill and Wendy Birnbaum in Sisters, Oregon, about 3 hours from Portland. After having spent a few hours together last April in Phoenix, we already know Bill and Wendy are every bit as warm and fascinating as our new Portland friends. But, to be welcomed into their home is a special treat. I am really looking forward to learning about the Birnbaum's 2 month RV trip and explore a new part Oregon. Bill and I share a background of spending our working life as consultants. We will have plenty of stories to swap.
Betty and I are making plans to come back to Oregon next summer. We'd love to spend at least a month in a place that is already beginning to feel like a second home. But now, it is time to enjoy some of Betty's photos of Portland:
|Waterfall at Chinese Garden|
|Street Scene: NW section of Portland|
|Typical home with beautiful planting|
|International Rose Gardens|
|Random couple we saw|
|Oregon Wine Country SW of Portland|
After we return home I'll be sharing more about our Oregon adventure, including additional photos of the area's tremendous wineries, Galen's fabulously relaxing mountain cabin, our time along the coast, and our visit with Bill and Wendy Birnbaum. It has been a very memorable vacation during our very satisfying retirement.